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A Jam Handy "comedy" short sponsored by Chevrolet that touts modern car design's impact on safe driving.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Production Company: Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor: Chevrolet Motor Company
Audio/Visual: sound, B&W
Keywords: need keyword
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: It's a film against "speed kills"
In 1935 the wrong headed teachings of "speed kills" had not yet been so cemented into society. People could still accept that the real killer was stupidity rather than simple numerical speed and that vehicles and roads were improving. It was in this era that the PA turnpike opened without a speed limit.
It was a time much unlike today where numerical speed alone is enough for charges and speed limits in some states are well below where they were in the 1950s despite 21st technology being far superior serving to make nearly every a driver a violator.
The film also makes it clear that kangaroo traffic court and revenue driven enforcement had already developed but not yet stripped away as much of our rights as it has today.
Today the driver would have been convicted of speeding, reckless driving on numerical speed alone depending on the state, attempted murder of a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing, obstruction of justice and countless other charges. It shows how the society has changed in a mere 75 years.
Subject: Not funny in the slightest
But it does have excellent footage of 1930's upper class America.
But it does contain lots of great footage of 1930's America.
Subject: Not too bad...
...Silly, But not too bad. It isn't funny, But it does have some nice footage of the 30's.
Subject: Did Katherine Hepburn reject starring in this?
Extremely odd dramady that seems to imply that its okay to speed, just dont do it recklessly. After Mary Jane gets into a weird argument about her present boyfriend (they seem to be acting this as if it were proper English parlo. Soon after Mary Jane gets the worst possible news when she finds out her bf is thrown into the clinker for reckless driving. After getting her fathers lawyer involved in the case, at the trial the lawyer convinces the jury and the judge (Its the father in Hired!) that, hey, so what if he was speeding, its the safety that counts! Very very strange analogy. And oh yeah, the boyfriend just happens to sell those speedy but safe cars! Huzzah!
Subject: Law of man vs law of nature
I remember when New York State was raising the speed limits from 50, when I was learning to drive, to 65 in many areas, which seemed reasonable to me considering the improvements in roads. Then someone in Washington decided that nobody anywhere should go faster than 55 no matter what the conditions.
Highway speeds really didn't change much but now everyone was an outlaw. This film presents one side of the conflict in an interesting way.
P.S. Someone left the countdown leader of the second reel in the transfer. I don't think anything is missing.
frank sinatra -
Subject: Ayn Rand would no doubt approve
Imagine Ayn Rand partnered with our favorite Jam Handy to write a car commercial. If youÂve ever read ÂAtlas Shrugged,Â youÂll no doubt appreciate the similarities. Those stupid proletariats and their lazy overlords are afraid of innovation,( again.)
Subject: What the HECK was that?
First off, you should know that this film is absolutely riddled with splices.
I think that it's a comical advertisement for the new breed of automobiles, though if it's for a particular manufacturer, I'm stumped. One is never mentioned in the opening credits (made by Jam Handy!), and though it's referred to later in the film, the type of car is never mentioned.
Mary is a petulant debutante who's upset that Daddy won't let her marry Jack. Hardly surprising, since Jack is a car salesman who's 1) never sold a car, and 2) just been arrested for the third time for wreckless driving (!).
Mary runs down to get the help of her father's attorney, who gets the boy a jury trial.
What happens next is sketchy, because of the massive splices and missing footage of the trial. Apparently Jack's testimony is that the new, MODERN cars are so safe, he wasn't driving wrecklessly, just fast.
The attorney wraps up by accusing the arresting officer of being the wreckless one, of modern cars being ultra-safe, and the judge doesn't even let the jury deliberate the issue, before deciding to by a car from Jack, himself.
I don't know whether I love or hate this movie. The splices are infuriating, and I want to throttle Mary for all her precious pouting, but the acting is just so cheesy, and I'm absolutely stunned that the cop who pulled someone over for driving 70 is the bad guy, I can't help but give it a recommend. Wow.